Cub feeding time – photo © BUNAC

The encounter: For sheer adrenalin, track lions on walking safaris or walk and work alongside them on volunteering projects.

What’s involved: Walk with lions at Zimbabwe’s Antelope Park Private Game Reserve, where a lion rehabilitation project aims to return them to the wild. Walking safaris with armed guides give close-up views on foot, while several projects allow you to help look after lions.

Do it: Acacia Africa’s seven-day Rediscover Zimbabwe trip, from £641, incorporates a stay at Antelope Park. Classic Retreats offers walking safaris on Remote Africa Safaris’s Chikoko Walking Trails as part of a seven-day trip, from $3,655. Norman Carr Safaris has walking safaris on its eight-night Luwi River Trail, privately-guided trip to Zambia’s South Luangwa, from $3,960. Under BUNAC’s Wildlife Conservation South Africa programme, volunteers can look after lions and cubs at a South African wildlife reserve for 18 or 32 days, from £1,099, while i-to-i offers volunteering with lion research work in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, from £1,199 for two to six weeks.

www.acacia-africa.com, www.classicretreats.com, www.normancarrsafaris.com, www.i-to-i.com, www.bunac.org.uk

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